*Chapter 14: Eclipse*
Shadow sat on the chair as Gerald place the metal headset that connects to Maria's. Shadow has his wrists strapped on the arm rests, and Maria's was the same. He can see her eyes shut, and she is grunting in fear. The doctors around the lab was setting up the computers and the machine running. Gerald step away from Shadow's side and came by the switch.
"Ready?" He asked. Shadow gave him a determined look and a nod. "Alright. Here goes nothing." Gerald flip the switch, and Shadow let out a cry as he felt a bolt coming through his body and everything turned white...
Shadow opened his eyes and found himself in space, but...in the ruins of a strange planet. Comets are flying around him, and meteors are around as well. The black hedgehog stood up and look over the edge to see the black hole, and the orange clouds swirling around. Is this Maria's mind? What is happening? Someone took over her mind.
"I have to find her." Shadow says. He shuts his eyes to use his mind to tell the outside that he is in the mind of Maria. He hope that would work and the doctors can hear him. He jumps to each pieces and he found a comet with windows. Looks like a ship. Shadow made a jump and use his hover shoes to get up on the comet. But, he hears laughter around him. Shadow looked around to find someone. Nothing. But, he hears a voice that fits with the laughter. And this voice is not familiar to Shadow.
"Shadow the Hedgehog. The Ultimate Life Form. How good to see you." A voice said. Shadow's hand glow yellow to use Chaos Spear on anyone. But then, Shadow appeared inside the comet without using his Chaos Control he uses once before. "I know why you are here, Shadow." A voice said. "You are here for the girl. But, such a shame that she is trapped here and the evil being of herself took over her mind. You can't save the girl, Shadow. She...is mine!"
"Who are you?!" Shadow cried out, looking for someone who is speaking to him. "Where is Maria?! Where is she?!"
"Heheheh. The Ultimate Life Form cares for the girl? How touching." A voice laughed. "Did you not know that you are a weapon, Shadow?" Shadow stood still at his tracks. "Yes. It's true, Shadow. You're created to bring humanity justice. Humans will be afraid of you. The girl here thinks of you as a person like the rest. She thinks you have a heart of feelings. Care, kindness, protect, and...heh, love."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Shadow whispered. "You're just saying this so I can slow down. You can't fool me."
"Go ahead and ask the professor yourself, Shadow. Why would I ever lie to you?" A voice said. Then, Shadow felt something wrap around his ankles and pull him towards the doors. Shadow tries use his Chaos Spear to shock the red and black tentacles, but to no avail. Inside the room, there is Maria lying on the floor. Shadow was about to come to her, but he was held back by two more of the tentacles that are wrapping around his wrists. Shadow growled in anger and try to struggle free.
"He's a feisty one, Eclipse." A female voice said. Coming from behind Shadow is a alien creature with red and black scales, and yellow eyes that can glow in the dark. Tentacles appear from behind her back to walk with or catch a prey.
"Make sure you keep him tight, Mars." A voice said that Shadow heard before. Coming out of the shadows in front is a male alien creature that is gray and red like the female, but in different shape. He also as yellow eyes that can glow. He smirked at the black hedgehog. "Hello, Shadow."
"Release me! Release Maria! She's innocent!" Shadow says with a snarl. "What do you want from her?!"
"Her mind is what we want, Shadow. We want to help her to get better from that disease. Unlike you and the professor, you two are weak. The cure will never be found. Only immortality can cure such thing, but you are not good enough for the girl." Eclipse said by looking down at Maria who never wakes up. "Maria Robotonik must change into one of us. Unlike that Veldon who fails. Maria here is the only one who carries the disease in the family, Shadow, and she will die sometime. And you will die too..."
"Just who the hell are you?" Shadow growled, struggling from the tentacles that Mars uses on him to hold him back. The alien chuckled.
"The professor never told you about...us, didn't he?" Eclipse asked. "It's quite a tale, Shadow. You and I...have the same blood as Black Doom." Shadow stares at the alien in shock.
"What? What do you mean?"
"In order to create immortality, Gerald uses the alien leader's blood to make you." Eclipse said forming a smirk on his face. Shadow uses his power to break free from Mars' tentacles and use Chaos Spear on Eclipse.
"We are not alike!" Shadow says in a threatening voice. "You are an alien creature who tried to take away my only friend in my whole life since I was made, and now...I will take her back with me!" He uses Chaos Spear to hit the two aliens. He came over to Maria and try to wake her up. "Maria! Maria, come on! Wake up! You have to wake up to get us out of your mind!" Eclipse and Mars stood up and use their powers on Shadow, but then, everything started to collapse around them. Shadow brought Maria close to him, never wanting to let go.
"What is happening?!" Eclipse cried out in anger.
"The girl. She's coming through." Mars said. "We have to get out of the mind of hers, now!" Eclipse growled and turned to Shadow. He smirked.
"Don't think this is over, Shadow the Hedgehog. We will meet again." He said. "I will come back for you and Maria." He and Mars disappeared as the light comes in, and Shadow shields his eyes with his arm.
Shadow let out a gasp and sat up, trying to catch his breath. Gerald loosen the straps, and then hear Maria's breathing. Shadow turned to see Maria coughing and trying to catch her breath. Gerald came over to his granddaughter and embrace her. The doctors shut off the machine and the computers.
"Oh, Maria." Gerald whispered. "I thought I would lose you forever." Maria hugged him back as tears fall from her eyes, that are no longer red, and notice Shadow coming over. She got off of the chair and embrace him, and sob a little.
"Shadow, thank you! Thank you so much for saving me!" She said. "Thank you!" Shadow hugged her back, rubbing her back.
"It's alright. Everything's alright." Shadow said in a soft voice, trying to calm the girl from crying so hard. "Shh. It's alright. I'm here. I'm here."
"Thank you, Shadow." Gerald says as he took Shadow's hand. "Thank you very much."
"I don't remember what happened last, but...I was in the strange place and then...I saw those...aliens." Maria said. "The one I saw first was...scary." Gerald was in her room with Shadow since they both want to know what happened before. Gerald felt his throat tightened. He knew this is Black Doom's doing to make her have revenge and steal the emerald that is her Christmas present, and now different aliens are controlling her mind to conquer.
"I see." Gerald spoke. "All that matters now is that you are safe with us, and nothing can come to you again. Not even...those aliens."
"You know about them, grandpa?" Maria asked.
"We'll talk more about this tomorrow, Maria." Gerald said. "You need some sleep. You've been through enough." Maria watched her grandfather leave the room. Shadow stood by her bed with his arms crossed, thinking about what Eclipse said to him. They both have the same blood? Is it true? Gerald knows something about the alien race. He had to know.
"Shadow? Are you okay?" Maria asked, looking at him. Shadow looks at her.
"Yeah." He said. "I was...thinking about the experience."
"Now, if you need anything, I'll be in my room." Shadow said about to leave, but Maria grabs his arm.
"Wait." She said. As Shadow turned, Maria planted a kiss on his cheek. The black hedgehog's cheeks turn red. "Thank you." Maria whispered in his ear. She climbs into bed and got under her covers, and Shadow slowly left her room. He touches his cheek where Maria's lips used to be. She kissed him twice, but this time on the cheek. He left the door and head down to his room.
Shadow went through the closet again to find the diary and the tapes. He took the tape out and the place it in the recorder. As soon as he pressed play, the first thing he hears is sounds of footsteps.
"Hello, Hope Robotnik. I am Dr. Belgum and here to tell you the results of your pregnancy." A man's voice said on the tape. Then a voice of Hope is heard.
"Yes. Thank you."
"Now, what I have found here is that your baby...she will be...born with something."
"Something? Like what?"
"A...rare disease called, Neuro-"
"Oh god..." Shadow can hear the sobs from Hope. This tape is when the time she discovered about Maria's condition.
"When you give birth to your daughter, she will have to be away from other people since the disease is very contagious."
"How...is this possible? My little girl will be sick for the rest of her life?!"
"Mrs. Robotnik, I'm sorry about this."
Then, the tape ended. Shadow took the tape out and sighed. He picked up the diary and flip through the pages about Hope's years, until the last pages are blank. She is around anymore because of Veldon. So many secrets about Shadow and Maria. Gerald was hiding something, but Shadow can't force his creator to tell him something. Gerald will have to talk to Maria tomorrow as promised. Shadow will have to hear from Maria since she is the one who he can talk to.
"Why am I here? What am I created for?"